ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

2aSP2. The effect of intensive voice therapy on speech and voice deficits in atypical Parkinson's disease.

Stefanie M. Countryman

Recording and Res. Ctr., 1245 Champa St., Denver, CO 80204

Lorraine O. Ramig

Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Acoustic data were collected twice pre-treatment, once post-treatment, and 6 months post-treatment on three atypical Parkinson's disease patients following intensive voice therapy. Using a custom-built software program, the following variables were measured: maximum duration of sustained vowel phonation and sound pressure level from sustained vowel phonation, a standard passage, and spontaneous speech. Using the C-Speech application [Milenkovic, J. Speech Hear. Res. 30, 529--538 (1987)], fundamental frequency variability was measured from a standard passage and spontaneous speech. Single-word intelligibility was calculated using naive listeners' perceptions. The patients achieved statistically significant improvement on all variables post-treatment but did not maintain improvement as a group during reading and spontaneous speech by the 6-month data collection session. These results suggest the effectiveness of intensive voice treatment in atypical Parkinson's disease as well as provide insight into the underlying pathophysiology of their speech and voice deficits. Due to the limited length of time post-treatment levels were maintained, a longer period of therapy as well as follow-up therapy sessions are recommended for this population. [Work supported by NIH Grant No. RO1 DC01150-03 and NIDCD Grant No. DC00976.]